Expectations butt heads after unexpected tragedy in this riveting film by skilled director Stephen Frears. Throughout a tumultuous week after by Princess Dianas fatal car crash in 1997, the humbled British population waited in earnest for the royal family to issue a statement declaring their intense bereavement. However, the strong-willed and opinionated Queen Elizabeth II could not and would not oblige, since the peoples princess legally was no longer royalty. The tough-as-nails queen was determined to hold true to the traditions of a long-lived monarchy, even in a new and ever-changing society. James Cromwell adds a notable presence as Prince Philip, as does Michael Sheen as Prime Minister Tony Blair. However, Helen Mirrens total physical and behavioral transformation as Queen Elizabeth II solidifies her acting status as legendary.